Birthdays

Today is our big kid’s 6th birthday.  Yep, turned 6 on 6/06.  That means he was born on 6/06/06!  Yowza, hello Damien!  HA.  He couldn’t be more the opposite. The sweetest most easy going kid ever.  I don’t know about you all, but on birthdays, or really starting a few days prior, I get all sappy remembering the day my kids were born and all the sweet moments between now and then.  And it’s funny that I can’t think about one of my kids’ birthdays without thinking of the others, which now also, naturally, includes Macey.

Big kid – I think about how ridiculously nervous I was. I wasn’t nervous to be a parent.  The idea of a baby didn’t scare me at all.  But you know what did?  Poop!  Yep, poop.  Not baby poop.  Adult poop.  My adult poop to be specific.  Gross, I know.  Hence the reason the simple thought of it nearly paralyzed me!  I am very modest.  I don’t, and won’t, go to the bathroom in front of my husband. I know many of you are rolling your eyes now and thinking that I’m a total prude, and that’s just fine. I’m not a prude.  I just have limits people.  And pooping is one of them.  I will never knowingly or intentionally poop in front of my husband.  Or anyone else for that matter!  I was so scared of pooping during labor that I made my husband take a vow of secrecy regarding the matter.  I also knew that I had to have an epidural. Not just for pain control, but also so that I wouldn’t know if it happened.  I really cringe just thinking about it.  So that’s what I was worried about going into labor.  Ridiculous!  My due date came and went and no baby. No sign of a baby.  41 weeks and still no baby.  Decided to get induced on June 4th so as to avoid the dreaded 6/6/6 baby.  Got induced the 4th, but no baby.  June 5th rolls through and still no baby.  30 some hours and a few hours of pushing later and still, no freaking baby.  Issue + issue + issue + issue = emergency C-section.  And a few minutes later.. A BABY!  A quiet (well, choked so as to not cry) baby who came out peeing.  Me and my potty issues and I get a kid who comes out taking a whiz!  Better than a poopski!  I can still hear his first cries and remember what it felt like to hold his little jelly body. I remember the way he snorted like a piglet rooting around for his breakfast and lunch and dinner at the moomoo diner which was open twenty four hours a day.  I remember writing down which breast he nursed on and for how long.  I tallied poops and pees but I couldn’t tell you if I did or did not shower that day, nor could I even recall if I’d eaten anything.  But I didn’t care because I was in love. As in love as I’ve ever been. Not just with a sweet bundle of baby boy who wanted nothing more than to be with his mama all day and every day, but also with my husband. It was amazing to look at him and think wow, we made this. You and me!  We did this. It was shocking that we could have made something so perfect.  I was also in awe of how I just fell in love with my husband all over again. He held our little baby so gently, and talked to him so sweetly that I could literally feel the tenderness.  A tenderness that one only knows in the sweet nurturing new parent moments.

Little guy – Welcoming him into the world was such a cinch in comparison to the big kid who, if he had his way, may very well be in my womb right now!  I had pre-eclampsia so I had to deliver him early.  But let me tell you this .. while c-sections may totally blow .. a scheduled c-section is delightful!  I checked into the hospital, got changed and waited for my nurses to get it rollin’.  I had a head nurse and a student nurse.  Thank goodness I’m not having any more bio kids or I surely would be more afraid of student nurse IV and student nurse netherlands shaving than I would be of public pooing!  Those few painful and embarrassing moments aside the process was almost enjoyable. Enjoyable compared to the torment that was the long, 3 day welcome we gave our big kid.  About 2 hours after checking into the hospital I was in the OR waiting for my surgical team.  It’s funny that during my first c-section I was so out of it that I didn’t remember the details.  This time around, however, I was painfully uncomfortable thanks to the student nurse shave job + lack of gown + lying on a skinny, metal operating table while listening to the surgical assistant counting, counting, counting. But thanks to her counting, there were no random objects left inside my sliced open, pulled out and put back together abdomen.  Thankfully the birthing process went pretty quickly.  Our little guy was born about 15 minutes after the surgery began. I got to hear his first, instinctual cries (thanks for not using the choke hold doc!) and marvel at the call out of his weight.  7 pounds, 7.7 ounces.  (after having a 6/6/6 baby first go around).  About 45 minutes later I was nursing him in recovery, rather than actually recovering as I had to do when the big kid was born. I felt at ease, at peace and blubbering over how in love I was.  (with a c-section you not only get an epidural but a really nice little loopy IV cocktail)  I had long worried about how I could possibly love another child as much as I loved our big kid.  What a dumb thing that was to worry about. Almost as stupid as worrying about pooping in front of my husband!  Love isn’t about making choices about how to feel .. it just takes over!  It really does. I loved our little guy so much that I didn’t want to let him go. The recovery nurse had to ask me a few times over the course of 45 minutes to take him away for his shots, bath, etc.  Whatever it is they do with newborns that only my husband knows since I was laid up in bed both rounds.

Macey – Early on. Pfft.  What am I saying?  Let me rephrase:  A month or two ago, I worried what it would be like to “meet” our daughter rather than give birth and have that instant connection, instant bond.  But I get that time now.  I get to think about her and develop love for her now much as I did with the baby boys in my belly. I can feel my love growing.  I can also see the love my boys have for her. It’s unbelievable.  We don’t even have to bring her up or remind them to consider her.  She’s as natural to them as their sister as she is to us as our daughter.  I was proud, and caught off guard, the other day when I was picking up Parker’s truck from the dealership and they service advisor asked our little guy if he had brothers or sisters.  He replied “Uh huh.”  The guy prodded him a little more:

Do you have an older sister?
No, a baby sister.

Do you have a brother?
Yes, a big brother.

How old is your brother?
He’s 5.

How old is your sister?
She’ll be 2.

Heart.  Melting.  Moment.  From the most unlikely character.  And he’s right.  She will be 2 on her next birthday.  I can’t wait to celebrate with her.  If not her 2nd, then her 3rd and 4th and 5th, all the while reflecting on the moment I first saw her picture.  Or the long, painful, emotional discussions that lead us to accept her file.  The joy and relief I felt when reading the 25th and final page in the Oakland Children’s Hospital doctor’s review/report on her file.  The leap of faith we took when we finally wrote our Letter of Intent.  They may not be the same physical memories of giving birth to bio kids but like I said earlier, love isn’t about choices or effort .. it just takes over.  I’m very thankful today for the love of my husband, my two boys and my little girl.

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What made you want to adopt?

Well, folks, we’ve heard it all.  Well intentioned, or not, and everything in between.

Real Question #1:  ”So what made you want to adopt?  Did you just want to do something nice that you felt good about?”

Real Comment #1:  ”Oh, you’re adopting?  That’s so honorable.”

Real Comment #2:  ”Well that’s a perfect way to get a little girl since you have 2 boys!”

Perhaps these types of questions and comments aren’t meant to be as off-putting as they seem to come across as.  But really when I hear them, I shrink a little and wish I had a turtle shell to suck my head into.  It’s strange to get a compliment for something we’re doing much like the rest of you.  You don’t get a compliment when you’re pregnant. “Oh that’s so great of you to get knocked up!” But for whatever reason many people think we’re doing a good deed by adopting. I’m not sure I really understand it.

When I hear “that’s so nice of you guys.”  Or, “that’s so honorable” I seriously want to look around for the person who is actually doing a good deed.  It’s not me.  It’s not us.  Let’s see, yeah one Tuesday night last May, we were getting ready for bed and asked one another what our next big idea would be and we came up with a grand idea to save an orphan!  Meanwhile pumping ourselves with self-importance!  We aren’t egotists and even if we were, this would be a pretty brazen effort to support our cause.  Watch as we single handedly save the world orphan, by orphan, by poor abandoned baby girl orphan.

You would be amazed, or maybe you wouldn’t, by these and countless other questions and comments we hear when we say we’re adopting.  Especially when we mention we’re adopting a special needs child.  We get the “oh, that’s so kind of you” comment which is usually accompanied by a look that sadly resembles pity.  It may be the same look that you get when you tell people the not so photogenic mutt you adopted from the humane society was hit by a car and left for dead but minus a gimp leg and bald torso, he’s now a happy new member of your family.  Maybe that’s a tad harsh, but that’s pretty much what it feels like.  Like we’re taking in a puppy who would otherwise be put down.  It’s as if some people just can’t believe we would do such a thing without some very deep rooted reason or justification.  But think about this … what nobody really knows is what will happen 5 or 10 or 15 years after you give birth to that perfectly, physically healthy baby.  Nobody knows!  For every 1 test you can perform, there are 50 things that will appear for which there was no test for.  Our little guy has the same odds of having a learning disability as does your kid, as does our little Macey. You also can’t account for what will happen in the journey from the womb to the outside world. Your child could be deprived of oxygen for just the slightest moment and then you’ll have a baby who comes with a little bit of baggage.  Just like baby sister.  I could go on and on, but you get the picture. There are no guarantees no matter if you give birth to a child or have the privilege of being given the chance to parent a parentless child.  No guarantees.  But, like all of you, we have hope that our little girl will be running around at the park 6 months from now.. 2 years from now .. squealing and playing alongside her peers, oblivious to any differences, big or small.

And don’t get me wrong.  The cynical bitch inside of me wants to make it sound like you’re all being ridiculous about this.  It’s not all of you. Some of you are normal and either have never asked “why” or when you did it was more to understand how we came to the decision to adopt as to the simple why we would consider adoption.  That same group seems to also not mention what it makes you think of us as parents and people. Thank you a million times over. As much as I hate the pity party, it’s even more uncomfortable to listen to people commend us for this or shower us with compliments that we really don’t feel we deserve.

We didn’t set out to do something selfless. We didn’t set out to save an orphan.  We set out on this journey simply to have another child. We had talked about adopting early on in our relationship and again before we had our bio kids.  It didn’t really come up again until Parker brought it up last spring.  (And it came up so out of the blue that I questioned him the next morning, immediately suspecting he’d had a little too much drinky drinky before bedtime the night before!)  Turns out he’d never abandoned the idea and much like we planned our bio kids close together, he wanted to get on it so that our new baby would be about 2 years apart from his/her older brother who would be turning 2 in a month from when it came up.

It came up for us much like it may have come up in many of your relationships.  Wife/husband is ready to have a or another baby … waits for husband/wife to come around then the husband/wife comes home after throwing back a few at happy hour and says, let’s do this, let’s have a baby, and let’s start trying now!  Or maybe you’re one of those who starts timing your ovulation and tracking your temperature.  No matter how it comes about, you’re thinking, we’re all thinking “let’s have another baby.” See, it’s really not THAT different.

Now, don’t get me wrong, when choosing the country from which to adopt, we did have to have those discussions. Those meaning whose lives would be greater impacted by being adopted “out” .. out of the country, out of the system, whatever the case may have been.  We had to have those discussions, but they came after the fact, not as part of the decision to simply adopt.

I also think there’s an element of not really knowing what to say so it’s not as if all weird comments come from total a-holes.  Some are born in awkwardness.  If a friend says I’m pregnant, you congratulate her.  If we say we’re adopting it doesn’t really warrant congratulations so you try to find the next best commendation or question.  And since there really aren’t that many people who adopt, you may have never found yourself in a conversation about it.  I get it.  So the next time it comes up, feel free to ask 20 questions, but keep your compliments.  I don’t deserve them. At least not yet.  Let’s see what kind of shit show my life becomes after September and how well I do, or do not, hold it together.  Only then will I be worthy of a high five. And even more so of a Mom’s Night Out!

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How much Macey is too much Macey?

That’s the question that’s been circling around in my little head.  When I was visibly pregnant, it was an obvious topic of conversation.   Even strangers would engage in the “So, how far along are you?” or  ”Do you know if you’re having a boy or a girl?” talk at the supermarket check out lane.  But this time there’s no belly, it only comes up because I bring it up, and more and more lately I have found myself wondering if I’m being totally obnoxious about it.  I’ve noticed a couple of people specifically who seem turned off when the discussion goes there.  It all makes me wonder how much discussion of our adoption and of little Macey, is too much?

In the early days I was really uncomfortable talking about the adoption. It took us a while to nail down which country so that we could then start the second round of the paper chase.  We weren’t sure how long the process was going to take us, and/or how long it would take to get matched with a child.  We were supposed to do the special needs checklist.  (Thankfully we cheated the system on that one!)  It also just took us a while to find our own level of comfort with it.  Once we decided to move forward with Macey, it then became a whole lot easier and more comfortable to talk about. There was finally a level of certainty and a subject whom we could discuss.  From my point of view, I now have a daughter!  Imagine yourself having a conversation about your family or your life and not mentioning one of your kids.  It wouldn’t happen.  Unless your kid was being a shit head that day, then maybe you’d skip over him or her.  But really, in an everyday conversation, somehow, some way, your kids make a showing.  And if they don’t then you’re a crappy mom or dad!  Kidding.

There is also the case of having to explain to someone that we’re adopting.  Believe it, or not, there are still acquaintances and new friends who aren’t aware we’re adopting. It happened just the other day. A new friend was asking how old our kids are and if we’re going to have any more.  I had to let her in on it!  As I started to explain the adoption, there were a couple of people who I think may have turned their backs, and if that isn’t actually what happened, it’s what they wanted to do judging from the annoyance I could read on their faces and the direction in which their eyes looked (up and around, which I think = rolling).

I’m not an attention hog. If I was, I would say more of what I type out loud and to someone!  Or more of what I think.  I also don’t bring up the adoption or Macey out of context.

You:  ”So, what do you guys have planned for Memorial Day weekend?”

Me: “Oh did I tell you, we’re adopting!  Well, not on Memorial Day weekend, but whatever.  Yeah, so we have a little girl!  She’s almost 20 months old.. diarrhea of the mouth, diarrhea of the mouth, yadda, yadda, yadda.”

You:  ”Who cares?  I asked you about Memorial Day weekend, freak!”

See, that would be weird.

I only talk about Macey when she comes up naturally.  She’s my daughter and I think about her all the time and can’t help but want to share my excitement with anyone and everyone. Oh and maybe I’ve mentioned this before:  I talk too much!  Way too much!  So if you think I talk about the adoption or Macey too much, that’s par for the course. I also talk about my other kids too much as well as telling anyone and everyone that my husband hucked a ball (a grounder, I should mention) in the backyard, busting out the glass in the door to our bedroom and that a few weeks ago I sent him an email at work with the subject line forget the bathroom, let’s go to Hawaii and all about the little cottage I found on the beach in Maui.  (I may have a smidge of a.d.d.)  If you’ve seen me in the last hour, or the last day, you’ve heard about all of this stuff.  That’s just me.  Diarrhea of the mouth and of the fingertips.  I have an uncanny ability to babble and mumble simultaneously. I brag too much.  I make sarcastic comments that I think are clever jokes.  I over share.  When you can fit in as many words in a day as I can, you’re bound to include too many about anything and everything.  The translation is up to you, I suppose.  Just a guarantee, however, there is no deeper meaning.

So at the end of the day I’ve come to conclude that there never could be too much Macey. I wouldn’t be a good mommy if I didn’t think about my little girl and talk about her as if she wasn’t a million miles and 4 months away.  Let’s face it folks, there are only a few people in this world who give a crap about her, so if you get tired of hearing about her or about this process, just consider all the talking about your kids that your parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends do on a daily basis. I guarantee your kid gets way more attention than mine does. The only difference is that mine is concentrated into one little blabbermouthing bottle.  Cut a girl some slack, eh!

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Finding the funny…

Heads up – if you will be offended by my making fun of the “witness” crowd, please stop reading now.  If you don’t like my point of view, that’s okay too and please stop reading now.  And if you happen to be from Mill Valley, I apologize, and please, please friends stop reading now!

Tomorrow I will post some puppy and rainbow commentary about the goings on with Miss Macey so check back then if I haven’t deeply offended you thus far and/or you have the willpower to avoid the paragraphs below.

For the rest of you, please enjoy.

What an amazing day yesterday was.  To say it was therapeutic to be with my yoga mamas would be an understatement. It was downright healing and revitalizing.  I may write about the thoughts and memories we shared another time, but for now I’m keeping it close at heart.  As Lisette said in one of her last emails to me, we share a lifelong sisterhood that is irreplaceable. Yes, we do my sweet friend.

What I will write about is the humor I was able to glean from a day that was otherwise laden with sorrow.  While we were on our big walk from Blackies Pasture to downtown Tiburon we witnessed road rage.  Or rather, bike rage. Serious bike rage.  One dude who appeared to have been sponsored by the looks of his uniform (or not.. another thing I probably shouldn’t make fun of so I’ll bite my tongue…) yelling at two dudes passing him “What the hell is up with you riding my ass?  Next time I’ll do a brake check without warning. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again.”  Cause I’m a crazy ass angry mo fo.  Thankfully the two faster passing dudes with better sponsors just sped past shaking their heads.  On a bike path.  In Tiburon.  On Mother’s Day.  Wow.  Maybe I should call his sponsor and let them know he is NOT doing a good job representing their brand.

The other super funny thing that is probably totally inappropriate to make fun of not only made me giggle, but also kept me from falling to pieces at the memorial service.  Thankfully during the service they did share some great memories of Lisette from childhood to motherhood, and her husband captured the essence of what we all knew.  He said Lisette was special and by our outpouring of support and love in her final days, she finally knew it too.  After that, however, some goofball from their congregation got up to say a few very insincere things and wanted to remind us that they had some tracts (pamphlets/handouts) in the back of the room on a table that we were welcome to, free of charge.  Really, free?  No shit?  Come on, seriously?  I wonder if they actually discussed this prior to the service.  In the back room saying hey, let’s see if we can get them to bite by offering the tracts free of charge?  As if they would normally charge for them?  As if anyone would ever pay!  We all know those are what they hand out when they come to our doors to brain wash us and/or try to snatch our kids.  But thanks for the super awesome material.  Now anytime I want to make my girlfriends or husband laugh, I can throw out the hey, wanna grab some reading material?  It’s free of charge!

After the service, Parker had to hurry home to relieve the baby sitter who was charging us time and a half.  She has a thing against dead people. No, just against working on holidays.  Apparently there’s a new babysitter’s union we are unaware of.  I kid!  So Parker rushed home and I drove us girls to dinner in downtown Mill Valley. I didn’t even look at the parking meter because it was Sunday.  No decent, respectable town or city charges for parking on Sunday.  Well, Mill Valley is neither decent, nor respectable and has now landed on my official list of towns that totally suck. No, I take that back.  Mill Valley is dead to me.  Hear this doucheville – I’ll give you your twenty eight bucks then I’ll never set foot in your overpriced limits again!  Sell your 2 million dollar, 1,500 square foot house on stilts pile of original shit to someone else!

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Happy Mother’s Day

We celebrated Mother’s Day today.

I have a lot to be thankful for this Mother’s Day, and those thoughts helped me find more joy today than I’ve felt all week.  I wouldn’t be celebrating today if I didn’t have 2 awesome boys and a beautiful little girl to afford me the title.  I also wouldn’t have met my friend Lisette if I hadn’t become a mother.

Parker got up with the boys, who were so excited that they woke up early. So their mother’s children. I love me a holiday!  The big kid couldn’t wait for me to open his gift so I opened it in bed.  A sweet ceramic handprint he made at school.  I love it and remember the day I gave my mom the same gift.  My how time flies and memories are made to last.

I’m not a late sleeper, or at least I haven’t been for about 10 years or so.  Drinking less and going to bed at a respectable hour have helped in that regard.  Ha.  But I also haven’t been sleeping well this week.  I can get to sleep okay but if I wake up, it’s game over.  Most days I woke up before Parker’s alarm rang at 4:30. I think the worst night was going to bed just before midnight and waking up at 3:30.  Last night I slept okay albeit with a restless, sighing, laughing, snoring and sweating almost 4 year old next to me. I actually welcome the boys in if ever they make an appearance in our doorway in the wee hours of the night.  I know they won’t be doing it in 5 or 10 years. Heck, last night may have been the last.  Who knows.  But I love a little snuggle even if I get kicked in the crotch, slapped in the head, sweated on and elbowed. I love every stinky, sweaty, painful moment of it because it’s the closeness that matters.  Their warm little bodies tucked in as closely to mine as they can get.  Shimmying closer anytime they go astray. I love it.  I just enjoy it in between periods of dozing off.  This morning after the big kid came in and roused us all, Parker took them out to the family room to watch some TV while he started working on my all time favorite breakfast and the one he only makes for special occasions such as this… Huevos Rancheros.  He even made homemade ranchero sauce.  To.  Die.  For.  Corn tortillas, black beans, cheese, hash browns, BACON, red pepper,  green pepper, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, dob of sour cream, all topped off with homemade spicy ranchero sauce + Mimosa = one happy mama.

After brunch we opened gifts. It’s always more fun to open gifts when everyone around you is jumping out of their seat with excitement.  I let the little guy help after he looked at me with his big brown eyes and asked when it was going to be his birthday. He was feeling a little slighted in the gift opening category.  He was happy as a clam to get to rip open my new All Clad electric griddle.  Which he will enjoy as much or more than any of us because it’s he who has a pancake obsession. With my new fancy griddle I can flip off a dozen flapjacks at a time. Whoo wee, this is living folks. Mommy style!  In all seriousness, I love it. And I also love that I know when Mother’s Day rolls around there will inevitably be some big boxes in signature welcome pineapple Williams Sonoma wrapping paper. I may run out of cupboard space before my list of kitchen “wants” is complete.

Today was a very nice, joy filled day.  Tomorrow, I fear, may not be the same.  My friend Lisette’s memorial service is tomorrow.  (Yes, it’s a horrible day to have a service but they’re Jehovah’s Witness so they don’t celebrate holidays, no disrespect to the rest of us.)  I know the strength and love of our little trio will help us all through.  And I’m so very thankful the final link in our trio (which sadly will never again be a foursome) was able to travel back from Utah to be with us as we celebrate Lisette’s life and bid our final adieu.  I’m not sure what it will be like. Grief is a bitch that way. I spent most of my week being shocked each time it hit. It’s strangely easy to talk to people who didn’t know Lisette, about her and her tragic death.  It’s like talking about a stranger. That and maybe I’m still not totally through the shock phase.  It’s unbelievably overwhelming, however, to imagine talking about it with the only two people I know who understand the magnitude of this loss or the how deep of an impact the absence of her light and joy has and will continue to have.  It’s these two people I haven’t been able to talk to just yet minus a couple of brief phone conversations to iron out logistics.  Utah T and I glazed over it today, each recognizing how difficult it is to talk to each other and how it will be so nice, and much easier when we are all together tomorrow.  She summed it up in saying it’s difficult to really explain Lisette and the situation because when people die we always say how amazing they were, right?  We don’t say, well, he was a total dick head, cheated on his wife, smoked in the garage, but we loved him and will miss him.  No, death is like Facebook and we only talk about the positives!  So it’s hard when someone who really is amazing and was 100% positive dies, to really get that message across.  Like T said, you want to send out a note and include pictures to say we know you’ve only heard about her and you’ve never met her, but here she is in pictures, she really existed and was the loveliest person inside and out.  I don’t think any of us will really ever be able to convey the beauty and warmth and joy that was Lisette to any of you who never got the chance to meet her.  And you throw in the Jehovah’s Witness mention and all of you Christians, atheists, etc., immediately place her in the cuckoo category.   She wasn’t that person.  She was just special.  Beautiful and vibrant, with a smile that literally lit the room and brightened your day.  She was brave and courageous and her faith was admirable.  She lived her life without making a single misstep, or mistake. She never cast judgment.  She was fiercely loyal.  Her life was meaningful in every way.  She was always an inspiration to me and her memory will live on in all of those whom she was able to touch.

It will be great to spend the day with my two friends tomorrow, sharing many, many joyful memories and being in a space where it’s okay for us to grieve for our loss.  That’s another awkward thing about this. It’s very hard to let yourself, or rather, for me to let myself, grieve for my own loss.  How can I feel bad for myself when Lisette lost so much more?  And for her family losing their wife, mother, daughter and sister?  Their loss is unbelievable and unbearable.  But tomorrow I’m giving myself the okay to absorb my lesser loss.  I am also looking forward to seeing all of those whose lives Lisette also touched.  I don’t really know what to expect of a Jehovah’s Witness memorial service.  I hope there are stories and memories shared in person, photos and video.  I know they won’t be the last images of Lisette that I see and hear but it will be great to be totally surrounded by her one last time.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of my amazing mama friends and family.  I am humbled by your strength, love and support.  I am thankful more now, than ever, for my village.

Beautiful
Lisette and her boys in Greece last summer

My favorite because I can hear her laughing.
Lisette and her husband celebrating 18 years of marriage by climbing Half Dome last fall
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Rest in peace my dear, sweet friend.

I lost a friend.  A dear friend unlike anyone I’ve ever known.  I was blessed to cross paths with her and am eternally grateful for her friendship and love over the past 6 years.

My sweet Lisette fought a brief, yet courageous battle with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  I’m still in shock.  She was diagnosed just shy of 3 weeks ago.

When I heard the diagnosis, I was heartbroken and hoped beyond hope there was some big mistake.  How could someone so young and vibrant who had made all of the right decisions in life be struck down by something so cruel?  There is no explanation.  There is no way to justify it.  She simply got dealt the shittiest hand at the shittiest of times.

I met Lisette in prenatal yoga when I was pregnant with our oldest.  There is a group of us who formed an unbelievable bond which began at the yoga studio, trickled into after class burritos and now far into motherhood.  We all had our baby boys within a few weeks of each other.  We spent those dark, foggy days together.  We lifted each other up, cried together, supported each other and laughed together. Sometimes with each other; other times at each other!   Each of us has our unique set of strengths and weaknesses as mothers and women, but Lisette seemed to have more of the former, less if any of the latter.  She could be up all night but would show up with a bright smile, shiny brown hair all lovely and free flowing, her sense of humor and a zest for what lies ahead…. while the rest of us cowered ponytailed in the corner in fear of the first tooth, the next sleepless night, an unanticipated nap schedule change or any other minor detail that otherwise can send a new mother to the loony bin!

We spent many days together strolling with our boys and lazing over long lunches in one of the most picturesque towns in the bay … Tiburon … how amazingly uncomplicated all of our lives were.  Then came job changes, moves far and near, and siblings.  Where up to a dozen of us once spent hours together each week at playgroups with all of our babies, we now spend them as a trio or foursome sharing stories over dinner and wine.  Evenings that came to an end all too soon. Each and every time.  While our lives have gotten more complicated, our friendship has not.  It’s the most amazing group of wise, trong, supportive and open women.  There’s nothing but love.  We love each other as women and support each other as mothers.  We talk openly of struggles and triumphs and marvel at the strength of unconditional love.

Lisette’s illness taught me a lesson in unconditional love. And perhaps most importantly, another in humility.  I am a woman of many opinions. Some would argue far too many.  Lisette was lead to her diagnosis after a series of seemingly unrelated, harmless illnesses which culminated in hemorrhaging that forced her to the ER.  While there they discovered an issue not just with her blood count being low from the hemorrhaging, but also some out of whack white cell counts and hemoglobin issues.  They suspected leukemia and did a smear test under a microscope to confirm.  She was too weak for a bone marrow test to confirm, but the doctors were certain it was leukemia.  In order to treat it, she would need to have a blood transfusion to boost her counts and provide her strength.  Lisette was a devout Jehova’s Witness.  While most medical treatments are acceptable in their church, they will not accept blood in any form. No whole blood and nothing that is a blood product.  I could not wrap my head around the fact that she would choose her faith over a fighting chance at life.  No blood = no conventional medical treatment.  Acute leukemia is aggressive and even with equally as aggressive treatment, the survival rates aren’t great.  I thought she should fight for the chance to have more time with her kids.  We are mothers, after all and our greatest responsibility is to our children.  I couldn’t get it and thought I just have to talk some sense in to her. It was insanity.  I wasn’t able to see her that first day. Instead, we visited the following day. By then I had a chance to calm down and think about what I needed to do for her as my friend.  What she needed most was support and love, not me and my burdensome opinions.  I was incredibly nervous to visit her, mostly because I didn’t know how I could squash the fear and tears and put on a good game face for her.  However, in typical Lisette fashion, she smiled and welcomed us in, told us how she felt stronger every day and that she would get through this.  She gave me the encouragement that I should have been providing to her.  She had an unbelievably positive outlook that thankfully was infectious.   I got to hug her tightly, tell her I love her and hold her hand. I hope I don’t soon forget what those things felt like or sounded like.

With Lisette after crowning her Mrs. Popular!

We didn’t want to bombard her with visitors because she was so weak and she needed all the strength she could muster for this battle.  My dear friend from our little trio and I tag teamed and each visited about every other day, keeping each other updated and encouraged in between by voice and text.  Before my second visit I wrote Lisette a letter because there was so much to say and I didn’t know if I would get to say it all in our brief visits.  I wanted her to know I would be there with her every step of the way as she fought this nasty disease.  Most importantly I told her I would respect her beliefs and support her choices.  I was inspired by her strength, comforted by her courage and confident in her faith.  We were able to talk about this briefly during my next visit with her and she thanked me for being such a good friend and for loving her no matter what.  She gave me some other compliments that were totally undeserved but that’s Lisette.  Full of positivity!  Even if falsely so.  She also shared with me a deep regret and I’m sure in the face of fear we may all question things that otherwise should never and will never be questioned by others.  I was so torn up by this because the last thing you want to see in a friend is regret or the feeling that they somehow brought this cruelty upon themselves.  Like I said, it simply was the shittiest hand one could be dealt.

My last visit with Lisette was a few days later. It was very different.  I took her some dry shampoo and some lip treatment for her severely chapped lips.  Seems so trivial but I was grasping at straws in finding any teensy little thing to help.  I only saw her for a few minutes but as I left the hospital, I knew that may have been the last time I would see her.  I’ve never seen fear.  But I saw fear that day.  I’ll never forget it and my only hope is that it dissipated over the coming days or was lost in a murky mess of consciousness.  My last words to her were I love you.  Her last words to me were I love you too.

Lisette left the hospital a couple of days later.  I know that being home and able to feel the love of her little boys provided the comfort she so needed.  She began alternative treatment.  I am sorry it didn’t restore her health but I am happy it bought her some time at home with her husband and little guys.  I don’t question any of this, as in retrospect, none of it probably mattered with the fast moving beast that is acute leukemia.

I took my little guy to an event at his preschool yesterday. As we were leaving, I checked my phone to see what the plan was to meet up with Parker and our big kid afterwards for the next stop on our busy weekend agenda, which was a picnic with the other preschool families.  I saw that my dear friend had called and after listening to her brief, non-descript message I knew why she was calling. She didn’t have to even say it. I knew before the words were spoken.  Our dear, sweet Lisette had died during the night.  I’m still in shock. I am thankful that her suffering was limited but my heart aches for her husband and two little boys.  As much as I knew in my heart this day would come, I still illogically wished for a miraculous outcome.  I’m wrestling with it as I write.  I was able to get through a multitude of tasks and events yesterday all the while harboring a tragic secret.  My dear friend died.  I miss her. I am so sorry she had to go through this. I am so sorry that her children never again get to hug her or look out in the crowd to see her clapping and smiling proudly.

Lisette was an amazing woman.  I am forever grateful to have had her as a friend.  Lisette has bestowed many gifts upon me, but her final gift was teaching me how to truly be a loving and loyal friend.

I love you and miss you, my friend.


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DTC, now what?

I almost don’t know what to do with myself.  I have free time and no longer obsessing over documents and deadlines, waking up in the middle of the night with the thought one little detail I need to take care of, etc.  It’s a strange, yet welcomed feeling.

Now we wait patiently for LID and LOA, the next two big hurdles.  All the while doing nothing on our part but starting to actually prepare for Macey to come home.

It’s funny, and I hate to admit this, but I may have seen some pictures of Macey today.  A woman from one of the yahoo groups I belong to posted some pictures on her blog from her daughter’s birthday celebration at the orphanage.  There’s a service that will send gifts and a cake and as confirmation that the gifts and cake were received and enjoyed by the recipient, the owner of the service asks for pictures.  So this woman posted pictures of her little girl’s birthday “party.”  I looked and looked at those pictures, studying the beautiful faces carefully and I hate to say it but I have no idea if one of them was Macey.  I told Parker about them and we just sat together moments ago, holding up the photos on my phone to compare to some of the faces and he was stumped too. She certainly could have been there as this group of children is right around her age, and they’re at the same orphanage, but who knows!  We have to kind of laugh about it. It is funny to think we can’t even recognize her.  It’s hard to get a visual imprint from 2 baby photos and a 2 more that are probably 4-5 months old by now.  The flip side is that the photos also show a room in the orphanage other than the one that’s in the photos we have and it looks surprisingly nice.  Clean and new and spotless.  The kids all look happy and don’t seem to notice their dingy dungarees!  The nannies in the photo are all cute and young, not the old, wrinkled and gray cranky pants we pictured.  So all in all, they were great photos and made our day. I’m so thankful for all of the other families blogging away and sharing their journey with us.  And for maybe sharing a picture of our daughter.  Not that we would know it.

I mentioned above about the service that will send gifts to the orphanages.  Well, I just placed my first order.  We ordered Macey a “summer package.” This is what she’ll get:

1. One soft album (10 family pictures)/Silk album (20 family pictures) for nannies to prepare your child`s adoption

2. One 27 Kodak exp. disposable camera with your child name as Tag !!

3. One set of summer clothes and One cute summer dress for girl package !!

4.One soft musical bear/deer/bunny for age less than 4 A doll or panda will be for age is older than 4

5.One pair of summer shoes

6. 4 pairs of hair clippers which match clothes/dress

7.Candies for orphanage staff

8. One Free letter translation service up to 400 words

Please feel free to “add on” as much as you like from our website or let us know of any special 

For the soft album, Ann, the owner, will print pictures I send, label them and place them in the photo album so that the nannies can start working with her on who we are.  I’ll send photos of all of us, our cats, our house, our backyard, our plasma cars, and anything else I can fit in.  It’s exciting to know she’ll soon be introduced to us!  What a wild ride that will be for her. I hope she embraces us.

The other items are pretty self explanatory but I’ll tell you about the disposable camera.  The nannies will take pictures of the orphanage, of Macey with her friends or her favorite toys, of her bed or maybe even of themselves with her so that she’ll have a keepsake of her time there and so that we will see a little more of her life before becoming a Colvin.  I hope that those pictures will help her through her transition to our family and home.  What an amazing journey she will go through.  I wish there was more we could do to prepare her but at least this is something!

I also ordered a bunch of donation items for the orphanage.  Shoes, socks, underwear, pajamas, formula, bucket of lollipops.  Hopefully it makes a difference and some of the other kids get some enjoyment out of it.  I would feel bad if Macey is strutting around with all her new stuff while all of the other kids, who haven’t yet been placed with their forever families, watch with sadness or jealousy in their hearts.  I have no idea how many kids are in the orphanage but we made a sizable donation. We’ll see what kind of feedback Ann gives us and if we need to do more, we will.  It’s tough to just sit here and not want to send the world to those kids, especially after seeing so many of their adorable faces in real time in the birthday party photos.

We’re still waiting on the photos that were promised weeks ago. Mark my words, my new friend Ann will probably come through with new photos of Macey before the BLAS photos come in!

I’m also putting together ideas for Macey’s room.  So many ideas!  I’ve picked out fabric for curtains and throw pillows. I hope to purchase bedding tomorrow. Not that I need it yet, obviously, but I need the bedding in order to match the backing on the curtains and get them ordered. They’ll take at least 8 weeks once the fabric comes in so the clock’s a tickin!  I also found the bed I think I want to get for her.  I mentioned it to Parker as his eyes instantly glazed over.  He’s a dude.  Through and through. So I’m just running with it.  He’ll help me paint and set things up but thankfully could care less about room decor or furniture and trusts me not to go too crazy on the spending.

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The Dossier has left the building!

Yesterday was a marathon of errands and somehow everything fell into place.  Not in quite the order I would have liked, but the end result was achieved, and that’s what matters the most.

I headed into the city with our little guy directly from our big kid’s drop off.  Not even a stop for coffee.  Mommy meant business!  We got to the consulate in about 40 minutes, found a parking spot up front and headed in. Everything was looking great until I realized how long each number in our group (the P group/non-visa group, which we will be part of in the next week or two… ugh) was taking.  Seemed every number took about 10 minutes on average. I started to sweat when I realized we were still a good 15 numbers away from being called and only had 45 minutes to go before we would have to head back to pick up the big kid.  Good thing little miss arrogant skipped the back-up plan!  What an idiot.  Somehow, we magically got called at about 11:50.  We needed to be on the road by Noon in order to safely get back to pick up the kid on time.

Consulate Officer:  ”Do you want to pick up your documents today or next week?  Or we can mail.  Did you bring an envelope?”

Me:  ”Well, I would prefer to pick them up today, of possible?”

CO:  ”Okay, be back between 1:30 and 2:30.”

Me:  ”What happens if I can’t get back by 2:30?”

CO:  ”We close.  You have to be back between 1:30 and 2:30.  Or you’ll have to come a different day then.”

Me:  ”Oh no, it’s okay, I’ll be back before 2:30.”

This wouldn’t normally be an issue .. BUT .. I had to drive back, pick up the big kid at 1:02 then hightail it back to the city, find parking and get in before 2:30.  And throw lunch at the boys somewhere in between.  I tried not to stress and just focused on the mission before me.  Autopilot back to Moraga.  Picked up the big kid with time to spare.  Threw Burger King at them on the way to the city.  Which, by the way, they totally loved because the meal comes in this little box type thing with the old school crown sticking up along the back by perforation so they can just tear it off and wear it when they’re done.  And the big kid said “Hey, mom, these chicken nuggets are waaaaay better than the chicken nuggets at McDonalds.”  Well, that’s good.  At least they ate it!  Anytime I take them to the golden arches, it’s like pulling teeth to get them to eat. Duh, the food is awful. Makes the happy meal toy sort of a good idea as at least it’s a bargaining point, for kids who actually eat real food with real flavor and real nutrition.  We made it back to the consulate at just after 2, got a spot on the same block and were in the building by 2:10.  Time.  To.  Spare.  Got in the “cashier” line and by the time we made it to the front, it was about 2:20.  And guess what?  Our documents weren’t done yet.  Figures.  So we waited another 10 minutes and then 600 bucks later, we were out the door, documents in hand.

When we got back to the car, I re-read the dossier instructions and realized I also needed a cashier’s check for the translation services in China.  Ugh.  That meant yet ANOTHER stop before sending it out overnight to our coordinator.  Pedal.. to the freaking metal!  Stopped at the bank in Orinda.  Thank goodness for more junk food.  Our bank always has fresh baked cookies in the waiting area.  I told the boys if they sat quietly and waited patiently for me to get the check that they could have a cookie on our way out.  It would have been a breeze for them.  See what depriving your kids of junk gets you!  But.. BUT.. for the chubby little cookie monster who stormed the place with her mom.  I know anybody who saw me could read the disgust on my face.  Said chubster walks in and her mom tells her to wait there while she gets her stuff done.  Chubby grabs not one, not two, but three cookies and starts gobbling them up Cookie Monster style. No shit!  My kids didn’t know what to think. They just stared; jaws on the ground.  I kinda think they were as grossed out as I was. I mean, seriously, if your kid has a serious weight issue, do you really think you should let her pig out at the freaking bank?  If that’s what she does in public, how in the world does she eat at home?  She probably had Burger King for lunch too.  Man, some parents totally suck.

Back to my kids.  I got my check, placed it neatly into the awaiting envelope and walked back over to them.  Little guy said “Now can we have a cookie please?”  They each grabbed a napkin and a cookie and we headed out the door. As soon as we hit the sidewalk, the little guy, who is clearly maturing by the minute (he waited until we were outside.. HUGE!) said “Mommy, did you see that girl totally chow down on THREE cookies?”  That’s my boy!

We got back into the car, and hit the road yet again.  Next stop UPS store.  While I was driving I just quickly glanced through the dossier requirements one last time. As if the last 2,544 times hadn’t amply prepared me.  But alas, I missed one small detail and that was to put the 2 extra passport photos of me and Parker in a clear plastic sleeve. I had to stop at home. And somehow get to the UPS store by 3:45ish to make it into the day’s shipment. Crapski.  Raced home, left  the boys in the car, ran in, grabbed the clear sleeve and hit reverse all within about 1 minute and 30 seconds.  Made it to the UPS store just as the driver was loading the truck.  Thanks to my friend Doug, our dossier made it into that shipment and arrived safely at the coordinator’s home office this afternoon.  I had this big plan to take a photo of Doug with our dossier envelope in hand, but was in such a rush that I wasn’t able to.  You’ll have to meet Doug another time.  There will be a few other instances, for sure.

When I got back in the car, without the documents I’ve been working on and toting to and fro for so very long, I thought I would feel elated and overjoyed but I didn’t at all. I felt a small sense of relief but that’s about it.  I am having a hard time giving in to any emotion, though the cynicism seems to be working for me (I’m sure you could sense it …).  My friend’s health crisis is weighing heavily on me.  I’m not sure how to even manage the emotions twisting inside of me.  It’s hard to let my own feelings out when I’m so torn up about the situation she is in.

I haven’t been sleeping well.  But I had a dream last night in which Macey appeared. It was magical. It wasn’t just a dream with her in it, but it was about our first meeting. She came into the room with her caregiver.  She smiled at us.  She went over to our little guy and stole his toy.  Then she came over to me. I kneeled in front of her.  She put her little forehead to mine and put her pudgy little hands on my shoulders.  Then she looked up, smiled and started to babble.  It was amazing and I didn’t even remember it until I was pulling into the pick up line at my little guy’s school. Until then I was wracked with emotion from my visit with my friend and as I turned into the semi-circle driveway at preschool, the memory of my dream hit me.  Oh little Macey, how I can’t wait to meet you!

It’s funny how our children teach us parenting lessons, long before we meet them.

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Macey will understand

I had planned to go to the Chinese Consulate in the city on Thursday morning but I had a little setback.  I was just about to get into the shower when I hit the button on my phone simply to do a time check.  That’s when I saw that I had a missed call and voicemail from a good friend.  I knew something was up just by the fact that she had called so early.  After listening to her voicemail, my heart started to race. I called her back immediately.  A dear friend of ours was in the hospital and the diagnosis was devastating.   I am heartbroken that one of the loveliest people I know is so sick.  It caught me off guard and took me off track for a few days, but I do not want to make this about me because that would be selfish and disrespectful.  This friend is the one person I know who will just soldier right through this.  She is beyond strong. She is brave and courageous.  She’s positive and encouraging.  She has made all of the right decisions in life and has impenetrable faith.

When I visited her this morning she asked if I had written anything new, and I told her I hadn’t and she told me I have to keep writing even after Macey comes home.  We’ll see. I’m sure she, like all of you, will long be sick of my cynical, emotional, irrational and sappy tirades and tributes by then.  You may even block me on facebook, or at least hide my updates.  It’s okay, I don’t blame you. I even get sick of myself. Like every morning at about 8:40 a.m.  By that time, at least 4 days a week, okay 5, I’m already sick of hearing my own voice. Seriously!  Because it just gets louder and Louder and LOUDER by the minute.  And there’s a direct correlation among the tick tock of the clock, the repetition of the words “we’re going to be late” and the increase in the volume of my voice.  Over it!  If I could just mime from about 9am on, I’d be a whole lot happier, as would my kids. And maybe my husband. Okay, maybe my husband would enjoy it more than anyone.  I kid. Sort of.

For now I’ll tell you what I did to get back on track and share some fun news with you as well.  I went to Kinko’s (I know that’s not what it’s called, but I’m getting set in my ways and once a Kinko’s, always a Kinko’s… I also don’t want to admit that I cheated on my friend Doug over at the UPS store.  But he closes at 6 and I didn’t get out until 7 and it had to get done tonight so I had no choice. It’s my problem, Doug, not yours, you did nothing wrong, I promise you!)  tonight and made a bajillion copies.  Now I have the full set of copies the Chinese Consulate requires, along with a full set of originals, when requesting authentication.  The little guy and I will head into the city tomorrow morning after we drop the big guy at school. Hopefully it will go as smoothly and easily as the I-800A fingerprint (biometrics for you adoption geeks) appointment did and the little guy will be so overwhelmed by everything around him that he’ll be stone silent.  Fingers crossed.  This time it’ll be man to man coverage so hopefully he’ll be on his best behavior.  Even at his worst, however, he’s totally fine.  He just may crack some highly inappropriate jokes or yell the question “Mommy, why aren’t you wearing underwear?” and get us kicked out. Hopefully we’ll get there early enough to get the authentications done and back before the consulate closes for lunch. If that isn’t the case, they’ll give us a receipt and we’ll have to go back later in the afternoon.  I’m not making a back-up plan for that because it ain’t happenin! I will have those 500 pages back in my hot little hand as I walk out the door.  I will!  We’ll drive home, pick up the big kid then go see my buddy Doug, yes, that Doug, to get the entire Dossier sent overnight to our coordinator.  Then next stop DTC.  Wow.

And in fun Macey news – we finally got a little update!  It may read a little funny to you all, but to us it’s great news and just the pick me up I needed!  Tidbits like her crying with strangers and being close to her caregivers are very encouraging.  If she can have close human connections, we fear attachment disorder a little less.  She’s riding a tricycle which tells us her hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills are coming along very well, and in some cases better than others her age.  She only has 8 teeth, but she was a few months premature so that makes sense.  We aren’t concerned with the lack of language skills as that’s standard for institutionalized kids. We have plenty of time to work on that when she gets home!  We should be getting new photos and an updated head CT soon. We didn’t know the CT had been ordered, but because her file is over 10 months old, they were planning to update it anyway.  We assume there will not be any surprises, but if there are, it will just better prepare us for her future at home.  The update follows:

Feng Yu Ning
Current measurement: weight: 10.5kg, height: 74cm, head size: 47cm, chest size: 49cm, length of her feet: 10.5cm. She has four teeth on top and four teeth at the bottom. Her current development is good. She eats mostly children’s meal with supplement of fruit and snacks. She has good appetite. The quantity of food she consumes is normal. She has normal urinating and normal bowel movement. She has regular routine. She has three meals a day. She can stand up holding onto something and can walk. She can sit comfortably on her own. She can crawl on her fours. She likes to be quiet and often plays on her own. She cries sometimes when she is with strangers. She likes stuff animals and riding on the small tricycle. She has good movement of her hands. She can pick up and hold onto things. She can feed herself crackers. She is close to her caregivers. Now we are training her language abilities. She understands her own name and can say MaMa and other single syllable words but do not always remember them. Her development level is close to her peers.






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To Sac and back!

Made it to Sacramento and back in record time. I had this whole crazy a$$ time budget only to blow it before I even made it out of town. And this is why – you know those people that each and every freaking time you run into them, they totally time burglar you?  Well, I got time burgled alright.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the woman I talked to for 30 minutes is super nice and we had a great conversation, but why, oh why did I have to run into her today of all days?  Sheesh.  She moved out here about the same time we did and we both have younger kids at the same preschool.  Her older kids go to one of the other elementary school’s here in town (not the school our big kid is at).   Most of our conversation was regarding how thankful she and the rest of the parents and kids are that their kid hating principal is leaving at the end of the year.  I couldn’t tear myself away from the conversation because some of the stuff she was telling me about the principal… whoooeee… juicy!  I finally had to put an end to it and tell her I would love to get coffee sometime.  I actually would like to, just when I have time carved out because when we get together the clock is on fast forward.  The funny thing is that I’m sure she thinks the same thing about me.  She probably sees me at Safeway and turns to run down the aisle to avoid the inevitable 30 minute conversation in which I won’t shut the heck up.  Some people just click like that.  Ha!

I was planning to be on the road at 9:30 but instead didn’t get going until about 9:55.  Thankfully the one thing my car is good at is keeping me on track with time and traffic.  I push it to 80, my arrival time shortens by 5 minutes, I see a traffic alert, I swap routes.  Somehow, the little car that actually could, got me there and parked by 11:00.  On the way up I started freaking out thinking I had forgotten something so I took about 10 minutes to review all the documents and make sure everything was in order. Remember yesterday’s post about me being totally nutty – yep, review and redo, rinse and repeat. It’s impossible not to be totally obsessive when it comes to this stuff. I would never forgive myself if I made a mistake that cost us even a day, let alone a week or a month.  Of course, I had everything, and they were all in order, so I took a deep breath and put on some makeup. I threw my makeup into my bag and thought that maybe I would want to put some on.  I feel less official without it.  As if I’m some fraudulent mother wanna be .. so I put on my face and all of the sudden I look the part?  Whackadoodle!  But after checking the docs for the umpteenth time and putting on a little mascara and lipgloss I was set and ready to tackle the second to the last hurdle in the race to Macey.

I parked a couple of blocks away so I had time to deeply breathe out the anxiety that was threatening to close my throat.  It’s not messing around!  Go away already, I’ve GOT THIS!  I managed to walk and breathe it out by the time I got there.  Parker and I talked about it tonight. I’m not an anxious person.  Shit doesn’t get to me, but this does.  His thoughts are that if we sit and think about what we’re doing right now and then wonder what Macey is doing, that the thoughts will kill us.  He said, and I agree, that we kind of have to avoid those thoughts and not let her be a “real” person until we get closer because it’s too much.   I have a very heavy heart right now because as exciting as it is to be one step from being done with the paperwork, it’s tough to be at a point that I will no longer be able to busy myself with it.  As much of a pain in the ass as the paperwork is, it helped to fill the void in my thoughts that would otherwise be focused on our little mei mei .. and how much good we could do to help her heal and grow in the next 5 months versus the lousy care she’ll get instead in her institution.  Nobody said this process would be easy, but now that we have a little girl to think about, it’s downright gut wrenching.  Our boys are sleeping peacefully right now.  They’re wearing clean pajamas and sleeping in comfy, new beds.  When they wake up, they’ll run into our room for our morning snuggle.  Then I’ll cook them breakfast (I’m very much type A.  I make breakfast.  And lunch.  And crafts.  I’m bat$hit crazy and I’m proud of it!).  I could kill myself with each guilty thought.  Macey is a part of our family so it’s overwhelming to think of her life right now, versus ours.  The time burglar from Starbucks asked me “So, what are the conditions like over there?”  And I think that one little question penetrated my heart and sank in.  I’m going to fish it out and bury it if I can!  Is it terrible to try to avoid that thought as much as possible? Perhaps.  But it’s self preservation.  I have to keep focused and not let the emotions overwhelm me. Try as they may.

The apostilles (state certification for Hague countries) only took about 25 minutes so not only did I make it back in time for pick up, but I picked up the little guy on time and not an hour late, as planned.  Whew. No time to spare, see the picture from the moment I started the car. Right.  At.  Noon!  It was a relief to be “on time” and also, I was happy to welcome the little guy’s smiling face back into the car.  Just the pick me up, and distraction, mama bear needed.

China consulate in the morning with my smily little guy.  Wish me luck!!  Next stop DTC.

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